How Do I Spot Signs of a Bed Bug Infestation in My Home?

A bed bug infestation is one of the most uncomfortable things that can happen in your home. When you do get them, it can be pretty difficult to recognize the signs of bed bugs at first.

They can also be even harder to get rid of once they get into your home. To those that aren’t familiar with bed bugs, they can be easily mistaken for another type of insect.

If you’d like to see other insects that look like bed bugs, OSU (Ohio State University) has a collection of pictures of insects that look like bedbugs.

Some insects that look like bedbugs.
Some insects that look like bedbugs.

If you’ve come in contact with bed bugs or are wondering if you even have a bed bugs infestation, here are a few signs of bed bugs that you should look out for:

1) Bed bug bite marks

Most people don’t even know that they have bed bugs until they see bed bugs bite marks all over their body. These bites are usually a reddish color and can form into small clusters on the skin.

These insects can also leave their marks in a straight line or row. These bites are not able to transfer disease or infection. However, they can be pretty tedious and itchy and scratching them or irritating the marks is what can actually lead to it getting infected.

An arm that's been bitten repeatedly by bed bugs.
An arm that’s been bitten repeatedly by bed bugs.

If you’re unsure if marks on your body have come from bedbugs, Medical News Today has some images on what bed bug bites look like.

2) Issues sleeping

Since bed bugs hide out in beds the most, it can make for a pretty uncomfortable sleeping situation. Bed bugs are most active during the night time and will almost always come out the most when someone is sleeping in the bed.

When you’re waking from your sleep, feeling itchy and feeling tiny stinging bites, it is a clear sign that they are in your bed and biting you.

Sick woman lying in bed and looking at her phone.
If you find yourself unable to sleep at night due to being itchy, bed bugs may be at fault.

3) You Find Bed Bug Shells and Other Remains

One of the biggest signs of bed bugs is seeing red spots or bed bug shells on your bed or other surfaces. After they attack you and feed off of your blood, they will leave blood stains on whatever surface the attack occurred. In most cases, it will be on the ends of your bed.

They leave behind shells because they grow into new forms as they slowly mature. These shells are usually a brownish colour and are pretty easy to spot when you’re looking for a sign of the bed bugs infestation.

A termite with its shell exposed.

4) You Smell a Musty Odor

Another symptom of bed bugs can also include smelling a very strong, musty odour. The bed bugs can often give out a strong smell when they group up together. This smell can be compared to that of a moist towel that has been left out for a few days and is one of the biggest bed bug symptoms.

If you happen to smell this odor it would be best to investigate and call a bed bug removal professional for assistance. Don’t ignore it.

How do I look for signs of bedbugs in my home?

Thoroughly Inspect Your Bed

The first thing you need to do is take everything off of your mattress and box spring. Then you want to thoroughly lift up the edges and seams to check for signs of bed bugs.

Make sure that you get up close so that you can see well, as bed bugs and their eggs can be very easy to miss. You can also use a flashlight to see better as well. What you need to look out for the most is blood stains or rust-colored spots and bug shells.

Check the Rest of the Room

Once you check the bed, you need to follow up by checking the rest of the room. Start with the furniture, including any tables, chairs, rugs, and every inch of the carpet.

A lot of people skip things like wood or glass furniture because they think that bed bugs only hide in places like carpets and beds. You have to remember that they can get into crevices and cracks of things.

Even if there are just eggs there, they can still hide in plain sight on areas you think you wouldn’t be able to find them. Make sure that you also check behind things, especially things that are usually pushed up against a wall like dressers and headboards.

Big modern bed with chair at side table.
Check every inch of the room you feel bed bug bites in. Yes, even the chairs.

Look through your closet or wardrobe

Bed bugs are also known to stick to pieces of clothing and is one of the main ways that they pass around from one person to the next. Look through your clothes and inside of your drawers to check for signs of bed bugs. Make sure that you unfold any folded clothing and shake out anything clothing that has been bunched up or lying in a pile or out on the floor anywhere.

So, what do I do now that I’ve found the bed bug infestation in my home?

After your inspection, you might have found several bed bugs symptoms or you may suspect that there are bed bug symptoms you didn’t catch. In that case, you should go ahead and consult a professional bed bugs exterminator.

A bed bug exterminator will present several options to you regarding the ways that you can get rid of them. Some professionals treat the problem with a special insect bomb. Others might use a spray or chemicals to get rid of them. These are things that you should discuss with the professional before you hire them.

Before you call the professional, you should try to do what you can to keep the bugs controlled before you get help. These bugs can be defeated with heat, so try taking your clothes and anything else that fit into a drying machine and dry them for a couple of hours. To see a more thorough version of how to kill bed bugs with a washing machine and dryer, check out our previous article named “How do I kill and prevent bed bugs in my home” here.

Low angle portrait of two workers  wearing biohazard suits working at waste processing plant sorting recyclable materials on conveyor belt
Bed bug removal professionals are sometimes needed if you can’t shake a bed bug infestation on your own.

This is the fastest way to kill as many as you possibly can without using harsh chemicals. Also, be prepared for the fact that some methods of extermination may cause you and your family to temporarily relocate, as the chemicals can be too strong for the human body to inhale.

The best thing to do is remain calm and try to prevent anybody from spreading them any further. If you or your children will be travelling, dry their clothes before they leave as well as any bags or accessories they have if they can handle a dryer. Also, try to make sure that you keep visitors to a minimum, as it can be very easy for the bugs to travel onto other people or other surfaces.

Now that you’ve read this article on how to kill and prevent bed bugs by yourself, you may feel like you need a bed bug control specialist to help you with termites in your mattress. That’s perfectly fine, and not every homeowner feels confident in removing bed bug infestations by themselves. They’re scary and pervasive, and we understand that.

We here at Zenith Lab remove bed bugs from your home and use the latest technology to remove your bed bug infestation in a manner that is safe for the elderly, kids and pets. Contact us today for a quote.

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